|Redbox Movie Art|
|Original Movie Art|
Redbox Synopsis: The cast and crew of a new reality TV show investigating the paranormal get more than they bargained for when they sneak into an abandoned hospital which years before had seen the terrible deaths of three girls burned alive in an apparent accident. (Not Rated, 81 minutes, no captions)
In case you were worried that every possible angle could be exploited from the found-footage-from-an-abandoned-asylum genre, The Crying Dead comes back with a solid addition to a worn-out format.
Full Review and Light Spoilers After the Fold
The Crying Dead was originally titled The Whispering Dead but was changed before the release lest you think this a case of Redbox Deception- in this rare case, it is not.
The Crying Dead is set in an abandoned asylum (where else) where a tragic death occurred (of course) in the mid 20th century (when else). I really think all of these movies (Reel Evil, 616: Paranormal Incident, Grave Encounters, Hold Your Breath, Paranormal Asylum) are filmed in the same place. It's kinda like when Deep Impact and Armageddon came out at the same time; both films trying to see who could make a better movie from the same concept. I'm not ready to decide the best, but I have a feeling that, much like Deep Impact and Armageddon; we'll all look back 5 years from now and wonder why these were even made in the first place.
But thats a post for another day and the merit of the found-footage-from-an-abandoned-asylum films isn't why you're reading this post.
The Crying Dead goes back to the well of found footage but it does have two assets: solid acting and use of effects to create tone. The acting is solid for an indie film, most notable among the cast is Chris Hayes as the aspiring actor striving to become a smarmier version of Joey Grecco on a surely failed pilot reality show. Becka Adams is solid as well as the unrealistic reality show producer desperate to sell a lame reality show pilot into a series. Those two stand out, but the film is solidly acted all around despite unlikable or annoying characters. As far as the cast goes, and why 90% of you reading this want to know, yes there are three smoking hott girls in this film and no, no of them get naked. Sorry guys.
This film relies on the low-cost found footage indie standbys of doors closing, lights turning off, doors locking and unlocking and unseen noises. Any found footage movie has the inherent quality of taking away the viewers sense of periphery to induce jump scares, that's a given and The Crying Dead utilizes satisfactorily. What isn't a given is two solid death scenes utilizing night vision to create eerie tone and tension and impressive effects for an indie film. It even managed to make the worn out trope of ghost kids unsettling, albeit with camera effects even obvious to a novice film goer.
On the downside, the plot has not twists and is a cookie cutter clone of the other found footage genre. It has what possibly may be an homage to The Blair Witch Project near the end of the film and I'm uncertain if it was intentional. It may use the same formula to get from start to finish but at least at 81 minutes, it doesn't waste time getting there.
Hott Hottness Award™: Today's Hott Hottness Award™ goes to Becka Adams for her portrayal of Becka Lassiter, the shrill movie producer.
|So if you're ever riding your horse home from your kickboxing match and you spot Becka coming out of the swimming pool, invite her over to do yoga and watch the ESPN cheerleading completion and you just might have a chance|
Overall: I wanted to hate The Crying Dead and tear it apart, but I can't say I didn't enjoy it. It doesn't add anything really novel to the genre but it does a capable job utilizing a limited effects budget and above average acting. All and all, The Crying Dead manages to get blood from a stone and can't help but feel a soft spot for this little indie film. If you haven't been burned out completely by the found-footage-from-an-abandoned-asylum genre, the Crying Game is probably worth a rental. 7.5/10
Final Verdict: I'd rent that for a dollar!
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